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A few questions with… Christoph Mani

Updated: May 23, 2023

Christoph Mani
Christoph Mani, Co-Founder Basel unverpackt bei Basel unverpackt | Photo credits: © David Walter

I heard that you are celebrating your 5th anniversary at Basel Unverpackt this year. Congratulations! If you look back, what was the main motivation for you to start the Unverpackt laden in Basel?

The first time I heard of a package free store, I thought, cool! That’s something I can contribute to and I have an interest in being involved. Building up a shop was maybe a bit of a romantic Idea in the beginning, but it was also quite the motivation. And then also the topic of course: to reduce plastic waste, and trying to make a difference. It all just sounded like good fun to me and the timing was also just right. I could combine other jobs with building up Basel Unverpackt.


Did you have a background that directly enabled you to start building up Basel Unverpackt?

I studied Geography at the University of Basel, so I think I was sensitized a bit to the topic. My dad also always was quite strictly against plastic. That’s something that shaped me in my upbringing. But otherwise I had no specific experience that led me to this position.


What are currently the main challenges you are facing with Basel Unverpackt?

The financial side is difficult. We proved in the first few years that it can work. We could finance ourselves relatively quickly. But now we are struggling a bit. So the question will be now if we can get enough customers into the shop short- & long term. That’s basically it. How can we do this and how can we get more people to buy package free foods from us.


If you look 50 years into the future, what change in the world would you like to see?

I think I would like to see a change in the way we consume and package our food. Reducing waste definitely, but also finding alternatives to plastic. Plastic & oil - that’s the main thing. Otherwise more plant based products, that are produced sustainably, will be the biggest challenge.

Curious to learn more?

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